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Panasonic Launches Beautifying Camera 163

Posted by samzenpus
from the lens-of-the-beholder dept.
The new Panasonic LUMIX FX77 camera can take the red out of your eyes and add it to your lips and cheeks. Released last Friday, the camera has a "beauty re-touch" feature that can whiten your teeth, change the size of your eyes, and can apply rouge, lipstick, or eye shadow. From the article: "There has been huge customer demand for such a product, said Akiko Enoki, a Panasonic project manager in charge of developing the camera. 'According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph,' she said. 'So we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.'"
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Panasonic Launches Beautifying Camera

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  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:20AM (#35357662)
    I like to remember the world the way I think it was, not the way it really was. I guess this fixes that, but I still don't like pictures :).
    • by j-stroy (640921) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:33AM (#35357874)
      In pictures, the beginning of our century may be looked back on as the time when everyone was happy (smile detection) and people had perfect looks (retouch).

      We look at old photos of frozen lakes and giant crowds and consider them accurate. Tho, it turns out people took photos of the lake being frozen or the crowded streets because it was exceptional rather than that being the norm.
      • by erroneus (253617)

        I forget who said it or how it was originally stated, but when we correct for flaws in people, evolution stops and devolution begins to occur.

        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          In other news...

          People on eHarmony, Match.com and even FB start looking concertedly more attractive.

          However, still no hope for denizens of Slashdot.....

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          when we correct for flaws in people, evolution stops and devolution begins to occur.

          Anyone who thinks that "devolution" is a valid concept doesn't actually understand evolution.

          • by plover (150551) *

            when we correct for flaws in people, evolution stops and devolution begins to occur.

            Anyone who thinks that "devolution" is a valid concept doesn't actually understand evolution.

            Maybe not, but I still like their music.

        • by spazdor (902907)

          If you think human history was going to continue under the effects of Darwinian genetic selection, you really need to spend a while thinking about different timescales.

    • by Shikaku (1129753) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:40AM (#35357990)

      OK... this is totally going to sound racist: but does it work on black people?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4DT3tQqgRM [youtube.com]

      I'm dead serious, there are cameras and software that have problems with this.

      • There was a similarly embarrassing issue concerning some camera's inbuilt eye detection and the 2 billion or so people for whom "dude, just write an algorithm that finds the two round objects in the face so we can clock out and go drink" doesn't quite work... Given the representation of Asians of various flavors in software, hardware design, and OEM manufacturing, one can only wonder how that one stuck out...
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Your question isn't racist, but the guy in the video sure is.
        • How so?

          • by Belial6 (794905)
            Neither the computer nor the company that makes it cares what race the guy is. Do you think that the computer has developed an interest in human racial groups? Do you think that some engineer or manager in HP went out of their way to build this in as a feature? Of course not. In fact, it is safe to say that everyone involved with the manufacture of that product would have been delighted if it had worked for not only that guy, but for every single person of African decent on the planet. They would be ev
      • It's not racist. I'm dark skinned and would like to buy it. I generally don't change skin color to suit a camera.

  • Ah, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haedrian (1676506) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:20AM (#35357666)

    Does it have a "Take image at amazingly tilted angle" feature?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:20AM (#35357674)

    Maybe it's Photoshop

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:21AM (#35357678)

    Wow! A camera with a built in "beer glasses" circuit!

  • Coming soon to a camera near you.
    • Coming soon to a camera near you.

      Only in the photos taken by their stalkers...

    • by xaxa (988988)

      Coming soon to a camera near you.

      FWIW, there's an exhibition in Mayfair, London at the moment of manga-like photography/art. It runs until the 5th March, so you'd need to be quick to see it... (website [hamiltonsgallery.com]).

      The BBC [bbc.co.uk] have some pictures, so do Wired [wired.co.uk].

      I went last week. It wasn't really worth it -- the best pictures were the ones on various news sites, and I didn't feel I gained anything by seeing them in a gallery. I enjoyed wandering round Mayfair looking at the pretty buildings more. After 10 minutes I went and found a museum -- there are lots of

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      'Cause who doesn't love a woman with big, round, voluptuous...


      eyes.
  • Yep, more of her please.

  • David Foster Wallace had it right.
  • Detection Features (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TraumaHound (30184)

    Duck face detected. Please retake photo.

  • ... for the camera to give the error message "Cannot take picture, subject exceeds maximum allowed ugliness parameter"?
  • Lipstick on a Pig? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wrong solution.

    Most people don't like the way that look in pictures because the picture is poorly taken. Taking photographs is more than just pointing a lens at an object. The brain compensates for a number of things that a camera does not-- the 3D nature of the human face, strange lighting (yellow indoors, strange shadows on the face in the dark, sharp light, etc). When you see the image from the camera it is not "the real image" it is a straight impression of a dumb lens that can only capture a small s

    • by _0xd0ad (1974778)

      If they really wanted people to be happier with their pictures, they would build in some basic rules to the camera to warn people when the contrast is low, when the face is being lit poorly.

      Yeah, people would really love that...

      "No, you can't take any pictures of your drunken self and buddies in this poorly-lit smoke-filled nightclub, you moron."
      "You are not in a well-lit studio. You will probably look like shit. Do you still want to take a picture (Y/N)?"

      The camera's supposed to take the picture regardless of circumstances, and then make the best of it. It's not a studio portrait. The lighting won't be bright enough, or the right clour temperature... you won't have bright lights and an indire

    • by timeOday (582209)
      One word: zits. Sometimes the subject *is* the problem.
    • by lee1026 (876806)

      Different colored light can be compensated for easily in software. With good metering, even sharp lights isn't that big of a issue. The 3D nature of the human face and camera noise are probably the biggest issues, but noise is being dealt with in cameras (albeit slowly), and 3D nature of the human face doesn't fuck with a picture that much.

    • by blincoln (592401)

      I agree somewhat.

      One thing that would probably result in a lot more "good" pictures would be if when the camera detected faces in a shot (which virtually any digital camera these days can do) *and* that the user was operating below 50mm focal length, it suggested that they increase the focal length and step back. Telephoto focal lengths are much more flattering to peoples' faces than wide-angle.

      If it detected that the shot was of a single face (e.g. a portrait), it could suggest framing, and also automatica

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:30AM (#35357832) Homepage Journal

    Makes criminals darker
    Makes political figures evil looking,
    Give women huge racks.
    Adds tentacles to any pictures of a Japanese person,
    When taking a picture of Soviet Russia, it shows you.
    Any picture taken of Natalie Portman shoes her petrified and covered in hot grits.
    When taking a picture of a Sony products, it roots itself.
    When taking a pictures of Anyone at valve, it shows them wearing a hat.
    When taking a picture of Micheal Bay, it shows explosion in the background.

  • Why not just make a mirror which is essentially a screen with a camera and have it do it real time so you can truly pretend you're someone you're not.

    Ridiculous concept? Well according to data we've acquired, around XX percent of our mirror clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a mirror"

    People need to take a long hard look at their self-images (no pun intended) if they even consider buying this camera.

  • by ThunderBird89 (1293256) <(zalanmeggyesi) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:33AM (#35357880)

    According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph, so we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.

    Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.
    8% is mistakes and blemishes that can be corrected in Photoshop/Corel with a bit of cloning (probably going to be bloody hard to do it on a camera, even with a properly sized LCD. The mouse is simply necessary here.), Brightness-Contrast-Intensity modding, gamma, and a few other simple steps.
    The last 2% are those who are incredibly ugly, and can't be helped...

    Anyway, it's pointless for me: I won't buy a new camera, since my Canon 300D is still in perfect order, this feature will probably be incorporated into amateur units, and I can get Photoshop for free. ;)

    • Rational answers substituting cheap, age-old good common sense for the latest expensive digital technology have no place on Slashdot.

    • Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.

      Glad someone posted this. As a Novice who takes many many bad pictures and a few good ones, lighting and composition (often the angle) are the essentials. There are many things you can fix in photoshop or lightroom, but bad lighting and the angle that highlights that all your worst features are not among them.

      Instead of a new camera, buy a book that teaches you how to use light, and another book that teaches you about composition, then spend the remainder on a copy of Lightroom. If you know how to use go

    • by geekoid (135745)

      and now the 8% is done automatically.

      " The mouse is simply necessary here."

      hahaha.
      " The buggy is simply necessary here."
      " The stone axe is simply necessary here."
      and so on.

      • " The mouse is simply necessary here."

        hahaha.

        Try retouching a picture with only the keyboard mouse enabled, and tell me how it went. Actually, don't bother: even a laptop touchpad makes everything but the crudest corrections impossible, let alone fine cloning. Mouse or tablet, nothing less.

        • by Nadaka (224565)

          Right, its not like every ARM SoC used in common smart phones and digital cameras doesn't come with automatic support for touch screens. Might have to zoom in closer than you are used to get the precision you want, but its very doable.

          • No. You need to see what you're retouching, and last time I checked, my finger wasn't see-through. I stand by my point, you need the cursor to be separate from whatever is moving it, otherwise you won't see what you're doing.

            As for precision, no. When you have a work area at most as big as a post-it note, you have exactly NO precision to speak of. Sure, you can zoom in as far as you need to move the brush fine enough, but then you won't see what you're doing to the rest of the image.

            So no, you cannot do ret

    • by Xtravar (725372)

      Why listen to you when I can buy a new gadget?

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      According to data we've acquired, around 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph, so we came up with the idea so our clients can fix parts they don't like about their faces after they've taken the picture.

      Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.
      8% is mistakes and blemishes that can be corrected in Photoshop/Corel with a bit of cloning (probably going t

      • by Solandri (704621)

        Alas, most people aren't photographers - they just want to snap a photo of themselves with their significant other doing stuff. And since digital photography is effectively "free", snapping 10 photos of the same scene doesn't matter to them.
        [...]
        So the basic point and shoots, as well as cellphone cameras, have to adapt to that use case - the user will just take a picture off the cuff and expect the subjects to look good in the photo. Press the shutter, and a perfect photo comes out.

        The point is that unle

      • People would improve their pictures dramatically just by reading the manual and understanding what the different settings on their camera are made for.But alas, reading requires effort
    • 50 percent of our digital camera clients are not satisfied with the way their faces look in a photograph

      Take it from a professional photographer, 90% of the time, the angle and lighting are all that matter between a good and a bad photo.

      I zeroed in on that quote as well, but for a different reason. Take it from a boyfriend, 100% of someones satisfaction of how they look in a photograph comes down to gender. Badly lit blurry photos to professionally retouched photos, my girlfriends always hate "the way their faces look in a photograph." I'm thinking this retouch feature won't help anything.

    • by blincoln (592401)

      While I agree with you that that's what a professional would do, I suspect the people this camera is targeted at will be happy enough with the camera automatically applying a simple algorithm like "perform a smart blur on the entire image, then look for any area on the face that looks like a pimple or other blemish and smooth it out".

    • Keep in mind that the comment was made by a Japanese representative of Panasonic. They already have print club photo sticker machines that automatically enhance and enlarge the subjects' eyes so that they'll look "cuter". This camera is designed for people who are happy with head-on flash photography at parties and really don't care about composition or carrying around large light boxes just in case.

  • Well, I like to retouch photos to make them look as good as I can - I'm not sure if this crosses some kind of line or not... but it is probably a better alternative than excessive plastic surgery if people want to shore up their self image.

    I wonder how long until we have an iPhoto and Picasa plugin to adjust older photos? Heck - such a thing is probably already out there! I guess the only thing left would be real-time adjustment of HD video that can be played back on screens in bathrooms so we can do awa

    • by Tomahawk (1343)

      Personally, the only retouching I do on photos is to
      - remove dust
      - select 'automatically fix' to adjust brightness, contrast and colouring, which usually makes the picture look more real.

      I don't remove blemishes - they are a part of the person. So is tooth colour. Or anything else. I want to remember the person for who they were, not for some idiolised version of who they were. (I have my dreams for that...em...)

    • by Dare nMc (468959)

      >real-time adjustment of HD video that

      Turns any HD Movie into a porn Flix.
      Turns any Live Web Cam actress into a perfect 10
      Feeds a pair of 3d glasses to make Texas cities [menshealth.com] look like stroll into California. ,,,

  • by ath1901 (1570281) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:36AM (#35357926)

    An article about a "beauty re-touch" function without pictures? How useless is that!

    I found two examples on the internets and the most obvious difference is a blurring/smoothing filter applied to the regions with skin tones. I'm not convinced this makes anyone more beautiful (the womans white teeth look a bit creepy).
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/workshop/5432481125/ [flickr.com]
    http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/fx78_fx77/img/touch/retouch_image.jpg [panasonic.net]

    I think I still prefer the brown-paper-bag-over-the-head approach for making people beautiful. That, or beer.

    • by boristdog (133725)

      I think I still prefer the brown-paper-bag-over-the-head approach for making people beautiful

      Ah, the old "Unknown Comic" filter.

    • by Tomahawk (1343)

      Agreed - to my eyes, on the panasonic site, the picture on the left is much nicer than the one on the right. She's a very pretty girl anyway, and the post-processing removes a lot of that, and removes depth from the picture

        (looks almost like her face has been squashed against a sheet of glass, which makes one wonder what she looks like when she pulls away from the glass again)

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Too much smoothing, and you don't smooth irises, teeth unless they are blemished (and then you smooth inside the outlines of the tooth with a feathered selection or layer, you don't smooth the whole mouth.)

  • Stanford teaches a course on camera enhancement software. Someday there may be high quality cameras with open Android platforms. People already offer clever apps for the more mediocre smart phone cameras.
  • by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @11:42AM (#35358032) Homepage Journal

    huge customer demand? Really? I have never, ever seen even one single person ever make even the most offhanded comment "Gee, I'd like a camera that can apply makeup to the subject and automatically remove hideous blemishes." Not once. Even the most stupid camera users have figured out that's what the software that comes with the camera is for, even if they never heard the term "post processing."

    • by tknd (979052) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @02:16PM (#35360088)

      This is a Japanese article mostly about Japanese culture. The camera is obviously targeted at the Japanese population since they mention Bic Camera which is a popular camera store in Japan.

      Over there women/girls love to take pictures. Picture booths called "purikura" (japanese translation/shortening of "Print Club") are in almost every arcade and sometimes even have their own stores. These are your basic photobooths but also add some effects. For example, skin tone always appears clear/white even if you're on the darker side of the skin tone spectrum or if you have skin blemishes. These effects are obviously tuned to what Japanese girls consider beautiful.

      If you were to offer a camera that offered purikura-like capabilities, it would sell like krispy kreme donuts in Japan. They're very into the way things appear on the outside.

      Despite that I don't know why they don't place more emphasis on straight/white teeth and plastic surgery modifications. Korea is more into permanent modifications like plastic surgery but Japan seems to only be interested in looks or appearances.

    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      I'm reminded of Homer Simpson's makeup-applying shotgun. "Homer! I you've got it set on 'whore'..."
  • Just take the basic software that is doing it, extend it by a wireless power delivery and print it on a contact lens! Suddenly the whole world is beautiful, your gf looks like Aishwarya Roy to you, and you look like the Superstar "The Robot" Rajnikant to her ....
  • Seriously, why write this story and why post the link, without a freaking photo demo?

    There's no bright line between retouching photos to match a certain beauty standard and simply removing artifacts introduced by the camera or lighting (correcting color balance by auto-leveling, for instance). Which is this one? Who the hell knows.

  • I hear all photos come out like this! [blogspot.com]
  • Perfect for facebook and craigslist.

  • With all the controversy about size-0 and size-00 models and how they affect people's perceptions of themselves, isn't this just feeding the problem?

    Don't like how you look in a photo? Don't bother learning to love yourself for who you are, just use our new cameras and our new digital mirrors, which all change your physical appearance to one that you prefer to look at, and you'll never need to know... (and 50% rebate on our rose-coloured glasses to boot)

    *sigh*

  • Seriously? At what point should we even bother taking the photograph? Why don't they just cut to the chase and have it draw in whatever the heck we want? I have nothing against retouching photo's, but you still have to work with an original... When the original is hacked to shreds in order to reflect who/whatever the software chooses at the source is there even a point to taking the photo?

    Sorry, just my stick in the mud moment of the year. I'm all better now.

  • Its like AutoTune for your ugly face!

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @01:48PM (#35359790) Homepage

    The most interesting aspect of this is that they are putting the retouching software in the camera, not as post-processing software done on the PC. This is indicative of how multiple devices are converging into a single device, and how the CPUs in them are becoming significantly more powerful. It wasn't too long ago that the idea of wasting your camera's battery life by having it modify your photo would have been silly. But today, people expect the devices to do things for them. They no longer want the general-purpose PC that lets them do this stuff. Now they just want it to be automatic.

    Unfortunately, all the demo photos are shown as postage-stamp quality images on a mediocre LCD panel so you really can't tell what it is doing.

    One really good thing here is is that this might promote awareness of how much Photoshop is overused. I find it amazing that so many people think that magazine covers are even close to the real thing. With some critical thinking you can look at the image and see "Gaussian blur here... warp tool there..." Hopefully, after a generation of these cameras everyone will be able to see how fake they are. It might make the Photoshop fad go away. It is so bad that many people ask for a photo to look Photoshopped! They don't want it to look better - they want it to look faker. That's sad.

  • So much for the days when picture accurately reflected the looks of a person. This is utterly ridiculous. When I see a picture of somebody, I expect it to actually resemble them, not some idealized bullshit fake persona that everyone wishes they could be. Seriously, what ever happened to honesty to self and others? When I meat somebody, they know everything about me honestly, none of this bull. Nobody who meets me is every disappointed, or flabbergasted, because I am honest. Unlike these toolbag motherfuck

  • I wonder if it comes with autotune as well to complete the process...

  • If "the camera adds 5 kilos", can those be digitally removed as well?

    • by plover (150551) *

      If "the camera adds 5 kilos", can those be digitally removed as well?

      The camera adds 5 kilos! OMG, do you know how many cameras they must be pointing at me right now?

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